On June 17, faculty, staff, and families toured the third grade’s “wax museum” portraying the lives of early humans. The exhibits were arranged on the Lower School campus, and spectators meandered through and “brought the students to life” by pressing a button or banging rocks. The students assumed the roles of their ancestors and acted out their studies of evolution of life on Earth.
“The class put a great effort into animating their studies, and the experience had the look and feel of what one might find in the American Museum of Natural History,” said third grade teacher Meghan Hillen.
As they entered, visitors encountered representations of paleontologists such as Mary Leakey, who found evidence that early humans walked upright. Dressed in gear typically associated with archeologists, and hard at work looking under a microscope, the students helped convey the excitement of the periods and the amazing discoveries that would provide a glimpse into our history.
Along the way, people met Homo habilis, the first hominid to make and use tools; Cro-Magnons, the oldest known modern humans in Europe and author of some of the first discovered cave paintings honoring animal spirits; Homo erectus, first upright humans and first to control fire for cooking; and the Neanderthal, a type of Homo sapien who lived in Europe during the Ice Age, and the first to leave evidence of burial rituals that prepared the dead for the afterlife.
“The students wrote scripts and designed sets, costumes, and props to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge of early humans and anthropologists, and the results were both educational and entertaining,” said third grade teacher Christopher Warren.